"The best pieces in the collection turn the clichés of the genre on their head . . . and despite the unseemly subject matter, the stories are often surprisingly funny."
City Pages (Minneapolis)
Brand-new stories from John Jodzio, Tom Kaczynski, and Peter Schilling, Jr., in addition to the original volume's stories by David Housewright, Steve Thayer, Judith Guest, Mary Logue, Bruce Rubenstein, K.J. Erickson, William Kent Krueger, Ellen Hart, Brad Zellar, Mary Sharratt, Pete Hautman, Larry Millett, Quinton Skinner, Gary Bush, and Chris Everheart.
"St. Paul was originally called Pig's Eye's Landing and was named after Pig's Eye Parrant--trapper, moonshiner, and proprietor of the most popular drinking establishment on the Mississippi. Traders, river rats, missionaries, soldiers, land speculators, fur trappers, and Indian agents congregated in his establishment and made their deals. When Minnesota became a territory in 1849, the town leaders, realizing that a place called Pig's Eye might not inspire civic confidence, changed the name to St. Paul, after the largest church in the city . . . Across the river, Minneapolis has its own sordid story. By the turn of the twentieth century it was considered one of the most crooked cities in the nation. Mayor Albert Alonzo Ames, with the assistance of the chief of police, his brother Fred, ran a city so corrupt that according to Lincoln Steffans its 'deliberateness, invention, and avarice has never been equaled.' As recently as the mid-'90s, Minneapolis was called 'Murderopolis' due to a rash of killings that occurred over a long hot summer . . . Every city has its share of crime, but what makes the Twin Cities unique may be that we have more than our share of good writers to chronicle it. They are homegrown and they know the territory--how the cities look from the inside, out . . ."
About the Author
Steven Horwitz worked in publishing for over thirty-five years. He lives with his wife and two dogs in St. Paul.
Read an Excerpt
Twin Cities Noir
THE EXPANDED EDITION
By Julie Schaper, Steven Horwitz
Akashic BooksCopyright © 2013 Akashic Books
All rights reserved.
Tales of Two Cities
Murder and mayhem are probably not the first things that come to mind when most people think of the Twin Cities of Minneapolis and St. Paul.
What comes to mind may be snow emergencies and subzero temperatures; Eugene McCarthy, Paul Wellstone, and Jesse "the body" Ventura; Dylan, Prince, and The Replacements; the Guthrie, Theatre de la Jeune Lune, and Heart of the Beast; The Walker, Cathedral of St. Paul, and The Mall of America; Mary Tyler Moore, Tiny Tim, and F. Scott Fitzgerald; Lake Harriet, Lake Como, maybe even Lake Wobegone, which, depending upon who you talk to, may or may not be real.
But not crime.
Everyone here has an opinion about what makes the cities different from each other and what ties them together. A type of social shorthand has developed over the years. Minneapolis is hip and St. Paul is working class. St. Paul is the political capital, Minneapolis is the cultural capital. St. Paul was built by timber money and Minneapolis from grain. There is some truth in these generalizations but the people who live here know it's not as simple as that and it never has been.
You don't have to look hard to find the darker underside.
St. Paul was originally called Pig's Eye Landing and was named after Pig's Eye Parrant—trapper, moonshiner, and proprietor of the most popular drinking establishment on the Mississippi. Traders, river rats, missionaries, soldiers, land speculators, fur trappers, and Indian agents congregated in his establishment and made their deals. When Minnesota became a territory in 1849, the town leaders, realizing that a place called Pig's Eye might not inspire civic confidence, changed the name to St. Paul, after the largest church in the city. The following verse appeared in the paper shortly after:
Pig's Eye, converted thou shalt be like Saul. Thy name henceforth shall be St. Paul.
St. Paul was a haven for cons on the lam in the 1920s and '30s. Bad guys across the country knew about the O'Connor system. A criminal could come to St. Paul, check in with police chief John O'Connor, and walk the streets openly, as long as he or she promised to stay clean. Ma Barker, Creepy Alvin Karpis, Baby Face Nelson, and Machine Gun Kelley spent time in the cities. The system fell apart in the early '30s, about the time that Dillinger shot his way out of his Summit Avenue apartment.
Across the river, Minneapolis has its own sordid story. By the turn of the twentieth century it was considered one of the most crooked cities in the nation. Mayor Albert Alonzo Ames, with the assistance of the chief of police, his brother Fred, ran a city so corrupt that according to Lincoln Steffans its "deliberateness, invention, and avarice has never been equaled."
As recently as the mid-'90s, Minneapolis was called "Murderopolis" due to a rash of killings that occurred over a long hot summer.
Every city has its share of crime, but what makes the Twin Cities unique may be that we have more than our share of good writers to chronicle it. They are homegrown and they know the territory—how the cities look from the inside, out. Some have built reputations on crime fiction, others are playing with the genre for the first time, but all of them have a strong sense of this place and its people.
Bruce Rubenstein, Gary Bush, and Larry Millett illuminate the past—the Irish cops, politics, radicals, and mob guys.
David Housewright, K.J. Erickson, and Mary Sharratt observe cultures colliding and the combustion that friction can cause. Pete Hautman and Judith Guest show us how amusingly dangerous life in the cities can be. Quinton Skinner, William Kent Krueger, and Ellen Hart illustrate what we're all capable of when lives are on the line.
In these original stories we see representations of the past, the present, and perhaps even a glimpse of the future. Maybe as important, we see who we are—Midwesterners, Minnesotans, and residents of the Twin Cities. We hope you enjoy reading these stories as much as we enjoyed putting this collection together.
It has been seven years and three printings since Twin Cities Noir was first published as one of an acclaimed series of noir titles from Akashic Books. In this expanded edition we are delighted to add three brand-new short stories from three talented authors.
Peter Schilling Jr., novelist and film critic, contributes "16mm Blues," a tale as tasty and addictive as a bag of buttered popcorn. In John Jodzio's "Someday All of This Will Probably Be Yours," a girl does what a girl has to do. Really, can you blame her? Tom Kaczynski's "Skyway Sleepless" is a metaphysical/metaphorical graphic story set in the downtown Minneapolis skyway system where the past, present, and future collide.
The Twin Cities continues to be a vibrant community of writers and we are pleased to be a part of it once again with this new edition.
Julie Schaper & Steve Horwitz May 2013 St. Paul, Minnesota
Excerpted from Twin Cities Noir by Julie Schaper, Steven Horwitz. Copyright © 2013 Akashic Books. Excerpted by permission of Akashic Books.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.
Table of Contents
Table of Contents
Part I: Star of the North
“Someday All of This Will Probably Be Yours” by John Jodzio (Warehouse District, Minneapolis)
“16 mm Blues” by Peter Schilling Jr. (Longfellow, Minneapolis)
“Skyway Sleepless” Tom Kaczynski (Downtown Skyways, Minneapolis)
Part II: Minnesota Nice
“Mai-Nu’s Window” by David Housewright (Frogtown, St. Paul)
“Smoke Got in My Eyes” by Bruce Rubenstein (North End, St. Paul)
“Noir Neige” by K.J. Erickson (Near North, Minneapolis)
“Bums” by William Kent Krueger (West Side, St. Paul)
“Blind Sided” by Ellen Hart (Uptown, Minneapolis)
Part III: Uff Da
“Better Luck Next Time” by Brad Zellar (Columbia Heights, Minneapolis)
“Taking the Bullets Out” by Mary Sharratt (Cedar-Riverside, Minneapolis)
“The Guy” by Pete Hautman (Linden Hills, Minneapolis)
“The Brewer’s Son” by Larry Millett (West 7th-Fort Road, St. Paul)
“Loophole” by Quinton Skinner (Downtown, Minneapolis)
“Hi, I’m God” by Steve Thayer (Duluth, Up North)
Part IV: Funeral Hotdish
“Eminent Domain” by Judith Guest (Edina, Minneapolis)
“Blasted” by Mary Logue (Kenwood, Minneapolis)
“If You Harm Us” by Gary Bush (Summit-University, St. Paul)
“Chili Dog” by Chris Everheart (Downtown, St. Paul)
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
One was enough
As with most anthologies I come across to read, this one has a few skippable, a few skimmable, one or two or three gems and the rest darn fab. My favorites here: MAI-NU'S WINDOW by David Housewright with its well-done manipulation, BUMS by William Kent Krueger with more manipulation, TAKING THE BULLETS OUT by Mary Sharratt with revenge, and THE BREWER'S SON by Larry Millett which has a nice Sherlock Holmes feel. I knew I'd like William Kent Krueger's story, he's a favorite author. Was well pleased that other authors brought it and wrote some fab tales.